Those in the firearm industry are all too familiar with the seemingly constant push for stronger regulations on current and future firearm owners. Still, the laws for purchasing and transferring different firearms can vary across the States.
But, universally, Federal law requires that criminal background checks must be conducted by licensed firearm dealers (that’s us!) on all of their firearm buyers. In addition, we are required to keep records of all our firearm sales, with those records available for inspection as needed. Additionally, Colorado law requires firearm transfers to be processed through licensed dealers… and for background checks to be conducted for private sales. But, in some states, private sellers have no such requirements.
And so, universal background checks are a hot topic for those who wish to reduce gun violence and for those who wish to uphold 2nd Amendment rights—with both goals overlapping at times.
The Case For
Proponents of universal background checks are most concerned that criminals, the dangerously mentally ill, and or other prohibited persons can illegally purchase guns (without a background check) through a private seller. And because, in some states, people have the ability to purchase firearms through private sellers without background checks—can these dangerous people obtain firearms too easily?
Universal background checks would require that private sellers, in all states, must adhere to the same laws that licensed dealers must abide by. In addition, private sellers would need to keep records of their sales. Those who would prefer that a background check be conducted for every firearm sale may believe that this is a step in the right direction in preventing gun violence.
Research has shown that many Americans are OK with universal background checks. So let’s take a look at why people might be opposed to the universal background check.
The Case Against
Universal background checks are concerning to some for a number of reasons.
The thought of universal background checks, and the potential for having your name permanently stuck on a list—recording your firearm purchases—is pretty unnerving to many. And that by requiring background checks and records, it seems that the government is criminalizing the act of purchasing firearms.
Additionally, laws already prohibit violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing firearms… and when they purchase firearms, they are already breaking the law. So, what’s to stop them from obtaining firearms illegally with the new, universal background check requirement?
It’s no secret that the government passes new laws and regulations continually… and that firearm dealers are quite familiar with the extensive regulations placed upon them. But when has the government taken it too far, and overreached? When have they infringed on the rights of the people?
With the universal background checks and records, opponents believe it could be a slippery slope in the years to come. For the most part, people don’t appreciate being highly tracked, with records of purchases and activity. And, most unnervingly, could firearm confiscation be something to worry about in the future?
What do you think?
Do you think that universal background checks, we could reduce this type of violence? Or is the infringement of rights too significant?
We’d love to hear your thoughts!